Salt Lake, Utah-based Hunstman Corporation (NYSE:HUN) is pouring $135 million into upgrades on two of its three methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) manufacturing plants, increasing capacity at facilities in Geismar, LA, and expanding downstream production in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The scale of investment is sizeable -- approximately one third the amount of all capital investment that Huntsman made globally last year.

MDI is a chemical used in the manufacture of polyurethane. Upgrades at the Geismar plant will enable Huntsman to manufacture 500 kilotons of product annually, up from 450 ktes previously, once the new capacity comes on line in 2014.

In Rotterdam, Huntsman's improvements will enable production of more differentiated polyurethane products for automotive, adhesives, coatings and other applications. This upgrade should be completed by the end of March.